Friday, November 8, 2013

On the Wings of Glory Bees

I know for certain that the prayers of many were lifting me up this past Monday.  I gave a talk on How Faith, Technology, and You Can Be Part of the New Evangelization to the Women in God's Spirit (WINGS) group at Church of the Epiphany.  The last time I had been to that parish was with Michele Morris when she performed her original play "Teresita" for the WINGS group.

Watching the performance, which is largely about discernment, while surrounded by a number of older women served as a good reminder that we are called to discern God’s Will for us throughout our lives. The poem by St. Teresa of Avila called “In the Hands of God,” which Michele included in her program is one that I have found to be a beautiful prayer and reminder that we should ultimately be asking God (rather than other people) what He wants of us. 
In memory and honor of Michele and because I could feel that her prayers were with me, I wore the black and gold striped "glory bee" knee socks she bought me just days before she entered the Sisters by the Sea, a cloistered Carmelite monastery in Carmel, California.  No one could see the socks under the black boots I was wearing, but I knew they were there, and they made me Click here to read about how Michele and I developed a fascination with glory bees inspired by a novena to St. Thérѐse.

Upon entering the room where the meeting was held this past Monday, I gazed at the beautiful poster hanging on the wall of the Blessed Mother with the words “Mary kept all of these things and pondered them in her heart.”  I like the implication that the Mother of God also had things happen which she didn’t completely understand, but because of faith she pondered them in her heart, knowing God would provide clarity and grace for greater comprehension when the time was right. 
I noticed a nice statue of St. Thérѐse had been set on the small table under the poster.  I smiled at the likeness of the famous cloistered Carmelite holding her bouquet of pink roses, sensing that it was another “God wink” that I was where I was supposed to be doing His work.  I later found out that no one knows who brought the statue in and put it on the table used for the Praying Hands prayer shawl ministry, which made it even more significant that it was one of the first things I saw upon entering.
It is customary for women in WINGS to bring in items that are special to them.  The items are placed on the table in front of the lectern, and the significance of each one is briefly described to the group.  Again, I was awed and inspired by what two women brought for “show and tell.”  My favorite was the most gorgeous painting of St. Thérѐse of Lisieux that I have ever seen.  She seems to be somewhere with beautiful gardens near the water.  This also made me think of Michele, who has entered the Carmelite Sisters by the Sea.   
The woman shared with us that it had been hanging over her grandmother’s bed through the birth of all of her children, of which she had many, between when she was 14-31 years old.  The WINGS member told us about how her grandmother had prayed to St. Thérѐse when her first child, to whom she gave birth at age fourteen, was born prematurely.  The child not only survived, but she lived to the ripe old age of 95. 

After telling us about the painting, she was going to pack it up in the box she’d brought it in.  I asked her if she would be so kind as to leave it up on the table in front of the lectern where I was about to give my talk since it tied in so perfectly with much of what I would say.  You’ll notice there’s a pink rose on the banner of my blog.  There are a number of reasons it’s there, but one of them involves my special connection with saints named Teresa.

My mom has been praying the novena to St. Thérѐse that includes praying the “Glory be to God” twenty-four times, one for each year of the saint’s life for family members.  The other day she mentioned that the one she’s currently praying has been for Kevin, in part that he will find a job that is a good fit for him soon.  She mentioned how she hadn’t received any roses as is a somewhat common occurrence for those doing the novena as a sign that their prayers have been answered.  When I shared with her the story about the statue of St. Thérѐse that had appeared at church without anyone knowing who brought it in and texting her a picture of the beautiful painting the women brought in to show us, my mom realized that the roses God has been sending her are coming to her in other forms, ones that arrive via technology instead of with thorns.  This reassured her. 

If you are interested in learning more about St. Thérѐse the Little Flower, I highly recommend reading the following books:

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